Heretic Brewing: Evil Cousin Ale

What can be harder than going from Home Brewing to starting your own brewery?  Doing it in San Francisco!  But that is exactly what Jamil Zainasheff has done as the founder of Heretic Brewing in Pittsburg, CA, which is actually about 25 miles east of San Francisco, but still within the greater San Francisco Metro region.  My point is it can’t be cheap to start up a brewery in this neck of the woods.

Last week I enjoyed one of Jamil’s creations, Evil Cousin Ale.  This is a Double or Imperial IPA and it boasts 100 IBUs and quite a bit of resinous hop flavor and aroma.

This beer poured a hazy golden color with a very piney nose.  It was a very sticky and thick hops brew, but not at all unpleasant.

This is not a floral beer like some IPAs can be, but an aggressive, in your face kind of DIPA that pulls no punches and asks for no forgiveness.

This is the type of beer when I think of a beer that would satisfy a self described Hop Head.  If you like your hops thick, bitter, and resinous this is the brew for you.  Nothing floral or even very citrusy, this beer tastes like you are eating pine needles, but in a good way.

I matched this beer with an Arturo Fuente Cigar, and was in heaven.  The hard pine flavor really accentuated the tobacco leaves and vice versa.

So dreams can become reality for home brewers.  If you win competitions and get active in the brewing community you can make good things happen like Jamil did.  And I for one am glad he is making his dreams a reality.  It is a true win-win.


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Categories: Beer, review

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16 Comments on “Heretic Brewing: Evil Cousin Ale”

  1. May 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I’m not a hophead, but I get in the mood for a “pine tree ground up in a glass” from time to time. This one sounds like it fits that bill.

  2. May 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    This sounds great, hopefully they’ll stock it somewhere here in Denver. Don, do you know what the ABV is?

    • Don
      May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      9.0 ABV.

      • May 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

        Thanks! So if I find it, it’ll be a Friday or Saturday night beer 🙂

        • Don
          May 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

          You could drink it on a weeknight if it was your only beer. 😉

  3. May 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Also, from what I understand, not particularly easy to extrapolate your home brew recipes to brewery size. So far, all of the Heretic brews I’ve had are rock-solid creations. Given his reputation for quality though, that was to be expected. Nice work Jamil! Of the three I’ve had, Shallow Grave is my fave. Great beer and a great beer story. 🙂

    • Don
      May 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      Good point Chad. It is a difficult thing to scale up home brew recipes for full scale production. They did a really nice job here.

  4. May 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I’ll be lookin’ for it Don!

    • Don
      May 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      You’ll like it when you are in the mood for hops!

  5. May 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Sounds tasty. It’d be really good if you linked to Heretic Brewing’s homepage in your post, if only to save us from RSI that occurred while googling them.

    • Don
      May 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      I looked for it while writing this post. I don’t think they have one yet.

  6. May 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    I will have to pick it up this weekend, can I expect to get punched in the face by the hops?

    • Don
      May 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      No, it’s more like a donkey punch to the back of the head. 😉

      • Don
        May 16, 2012 at 8:03 am #

        Yeah, for whatever reason our default browser is Bing, and it sucks. Whenever I really want to find something I have to specifically search google. I’ll have to fix that one of these days.


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